Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour Teaches a Course on Creativity & Leadership

Imag­ine a famous mag­a­zine edi­tor, and smart mon­ey says the image that comes to mind has a bob hair­cut and sun­glass­es. No one has defined the role of mag­a­zine-edi­tor-as-cul­tur­al-force, and so con­sis­tent­ly lived it, more than Anna Win­tour, and the online edu­ca­tion com­pa­ny Mas­ter­class has some­how con­vinced her to take her hand off the wheel of Vogue — and put aside those over­sized shades — just long enough to star in a course about how she steers that behe­moth of a pub­li­ca­tion through the waters of fash­ion. “I know many peo­ple are curi­ous about who I am and how I approach my work,” Win­tour says in the trail­er above. “This is a class for those who want to under­stand my lead­er­ship style, and then under­stand the expe­ri­ences that have helped me become an effec­tive leader.”

You may well have already heard a thing or two about Win­tour’s lead­er­ship style, the famous­ly exact­ing nature of which has pro­voked dif­fer­ent reac­tions from dif­fer­ent peo­ple (and pos­si­bly even inspired a best­selling nov­el and its fea­ture-film adap­ta­tion).

But as Win­tour her­self explains it, “you need some­one who can push you, that isn’t pulling you back” — sen­si­ble advice even for lead­ers of com­pa­nies, teams, and class­rooms who don’t mind pro­ject­ing a some­what more laid-back image. But even for those who want to project as much indi­vid­ual strength and resolve as pos­si­ble, “it’s real­ly, real­ly impor­tant to sur­round your­self with a team whose opin­ions that you trust, who are not in any way fright­ened of dis­agree­ing with you, and you have to lis­ten.”

In her Mas­ter­class, Win­tour teach­es, in oth­er words, “how to be a boss.” That phrase appears at the top of its syl­labus, whose twelve lessons include “Anna’s Man­age­ment Tips” and “Edi­to­r­i­al Deci­sion-Mak­ing” as well as “Pho­tog­ra­phers and Mod­els,” “A Look Back at Icon­ic Cov­ers,” and “Trans­form­ing the Met Gala.” Though geared toward view­ers with an inter­est in the busi­ness of fash­ion (case stud­ies include the careers of Miuc­cia Pra­da and Michael Kors), “Anna Win­tour Teach­es Cre­ativ­i­ty and Lead­er­ship” also offers prin­ci­ples for any human endeav­or that requires inven­tion, group work, and meet­ing hard dead­lines over and over again. You can sign up for Win­tour’s course here.

FYI: If you sign up for a Mas­ter­Class course by click­ing on the affil­i­ate links in this post, Open Cul­ture will receive a small fee that helps sup­port our oper­a­tion.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Annie Lei­bovitz Teach­es Pho­tog­ra­phy in Her First Online Course

Mar­garet Atwood Offers a New Online Class on Cre­ative Writ­ing

David Lynch Teach­es an Online Course on Film & Cre­ativ­i­ty

Enter “The Mag­a­zine Rack,” the Inter­net Archive’s Col­lec­tion of 34,000 Dig­i­tized Mag­a­zines

Pho­tog­ra­ph­er Bill Cun­ning­ham (RIP) on Liv­ing La Vie Boheme Above Carnegie Hall

George Orwell Blasts Amer­i­can Fash­ion Mag­a­zines (1946)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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